Just the thought of creamy cheesecake has my mouth watering. Have you ever made a cheesecake from scratch? This recipe is for a traditional cheesecake recipe with a colorful twist. I’ve made multiple cheesecakes in a variety of flavors (pumpkin and Oreo to name two of my favorites). Cheesecake is a decadent dessert that can be challenging to make from scratch until you get the hang of it. Enter, Instant Pot, the quickest, fool-proof way to make this delicious cake! So why use an Instant Pot for a cheesecake? When you bake a cheesecake in the oven, a water bath (click here to learn more) is often used to help the cake retain its moisture and not crack. Similarly, a water bath is used when you make a cheesecake in an Instant Pot. A great reason to make a cheesecake in an Instant Pot is because the method is much faster than baking a cheesecake in an oven. I love using my oven, but have found the Instant Pot a great alternative to my oven for certain recipes. No Instant Pot, no problem, I’ll share how to bake this cake in the oven too!
For the crust
- 7 graham crackers, crushed
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- Cooking spray
For the batter
- 2 8oz cream cheese blocks, at room temp
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream at room temp
- Food coloring gels
For the crust
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep your 6 or 7 inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides up with a double layer of aluminum foil. Spray the pan with cooking spray and set aside. *Optional, put a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place into the pan after you have sprayed it with cooking spray.
- Crush your graham crackers in a food processor, or in a large Ziploc bag with a rolling pin. In a bowl, stir together your crushed graham crackers, 1 tbsp of granulated sugar, and melted butter until a consistency that resembles wet sand is achieved.
- Using a measuring cup, press your graham cracker crust into the bottom and onto the sides of your prepared springform pan, set aside.
- Bake your crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven, and allow the crust to cool completely before filling it with batter.
For the batter
- To make the batter, beat your softened cream cheese to break it up, no longer than 30 seconds. While you are beating your cream cheese, add your sugar into the cream cheese in a steady stream. While you continue to beat your ingredients, add in your eggs one at a time. Lastly, add in your vanilla extract, zest of one lemon, and heavy whipping cream. Careful not to overbeat to avoid air bubbles.
- Divide your batter into bowls, I used 4, and add a ½ tsp of food coloring gel to each bowl. Stir each bowl of batter until the color is fully incorporated.
- Add each bowl of batter into your springform pan, one color at a time. The density of cheesecake batter will allow each layer to bake without sinking into the other to create a layered rainbow effect.
Instant Pot Instructions
- To bake this cake in an Instant Pot, pour 1.5 cups of water into your Instant Pot. Place your trivet into your instant pot. Place your cheesecake onto your trivet. Place 1 loose layer of foil over the top of your springform pan, careful not to let the foil sink into the batter. Lock the lid of your Instant Pot, and turn the valve to “Sealing”. Press “Pressure Cook”, and make sure its on High. Enter 37 minutes, and make sure the “Keep Warm” button is off. After your Instant Pot comes to pressure and and cooks for 37 minutes, allow a natural pressure release for 30 minutes. Remove your instant pot lid, and carefully take your cheesecake out. Allow it to cool for an additional hour before placing it in the fridge to chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
- Place your cheesecake into the center of a roasting pan or 9×13 inch pyrex dish. Pour water into the roasting pan or dish to the depth of two inches (the water will surround your springform pan). Make sure your springform pan is placed in the center of the water bath. Carefully place your springform pan in your water bath into an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door slightly open for 3 hours before removing from the oven.
- Making sure all of your ingredients for the cheesecake batter are at room temp will help ensure your success in making this cheesecake. I like to set out my batter ingredients about an hour before I start preparing the crust.
- If the center of your cheesecake is wobbly after you open your instant pot. Allow to cook for an additional 5-8 minutes on high pressure before manually releasing steam and opening your instant pot.